The rich and the poor… there’s been a great divide between these two that is as old as history itself. And although, in the US, self-described middle- and lower-class Americans say they admire people who get rich by working hard, accomplishing their American dream, it’s when they’re at the top that it starts bothering others.
A Pew Research study found that nearly six in ten survey respondents say the rich pay too little in taxes. And this is the tip of the iceberg. So since we’re not diving deep underneath it, we’re taking a look at one very telling thread.
“What small thing screams 'I’m rich'?” someone posted on r/AskReddit, sparking more than 5k comments with eye-opening responses. Let’s see what people had to say below.
I know a man who's the kind of rich where it took him only a day or two to convert more than a million dollars to cash (not, like, physical cash, but the liquid asset) to buy one of his kids a house.
He drives a rather beat-up old Subaru, when he's not riding his bicycle instead. He wears jeans and polo shirts. His watch is a $200 digital watch - wouldn't bother wearing a fancy expensive analogue watch, all they do is tell the time, what's the point? He's lived in the same house for 50ish years.
The only real tell is the air of total chill he has. He's not worried about much. Money insulates you from really a lot of stress.
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#2Not noticing you haven’t been paid in two months.
I work with some people that pull in 20k+ a month. We had one come in mid March and said I don’t think I’ve been paid since December.” Sure enough two months didn’t pay out for some reason.
He wasn’t even mad and just kind of mentioned it like he was talking about the weather.
If I miss A paycheck I’d notice on payday.
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#3Working at a luxury resort, one thing I’ve noticed is that the people who want to give the air of being very wealthy will have lots of designer patterns on their clothes and accessories, like Louis Vuitton print, but almost all of the truly ridiculously wealthy people will basically wear nondescript leisure wear and really plain looking clothes (like plain jeans and tees with no logos).
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#4They spend money if it saves you time. Time is more valuable than money.
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#5They will never complain about the cost of something but will nit-pik the quality of work to death.
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#6I was 17, flying home from my sister’s house and I struck up a conversation with this well dressed businessman. (My mother was a seamstress and had taught me about how to “read” people’s clothes) Dude was super cool super polite. Genuinely just wanted to chat about whatever.
We chat for like an hour, then it’s time to board. His section is called first and he sees that I didn’t get up to board with him. He walks back over, asks to see my ticket. I show him, he gently shakes his head “no” and smiles while he signals me to follow him to the gate.
We get to the gate agent, he says “this is my friend throwaway, is the seat next to me open?” “Excellent, I’d like him to have that seat please.” Hands her a black credit card and next thing I know I’m sitting in first class instead of coach. I told him that was very nice of him, but he didn’t need to spend that kind of money (if I remember right it was like $800) just so I could sit by him. He explained that that “kind of money” literally meant nothing to him, he was enjoying our conversation and wanted it to continue. It was the most surreal feeling ever. So I sat in first class, enjoying all the perks that brings, and talked to this guy about life for the next three hours. Turns out he owned several stamping companies that all had government supply contracts and he had accumulated far more than $800 while we had been sitting in the airport talking, let alone the length of the flight.
When we landed he explained that most people just fall all over themselves trying to suck up to him once they know who he is, but I just talked to him like he was a normal human being and I reminded him of his grown sons from when they were teenagers. He thanked me for the conversation, I thanked him for the great seat and we went our separate ways.
That guy had money, and he knew what has actual value.
#7Not thinking twice, when making plans, about whether you can afford it.
Image credits: KindHearted_IceQueen
#8I have first hand experience with this. I actually work with wealthy people's bank accounts so they can't lie about what they have. Looking over transactions and stuff here's what I found.
You can't actually tell. We have millionaires walking in like they are homeless and people who spend more on fancy cars and designer goods but barely have $100k to their name. The truly wealthy don't wear brands. They are not there to advertise a luxury good. They give a CR*P ton to charity. More than I make in a year. Mostly for tax reasons but some are just that kind. We have a joke that the ones that are truly wealthy are the ones who are the kindest. They don't have to think about it and usually live low stress lives. They LIKE to take the time to get to know you and chit chat.
The aholes are always the ones who don't have to work anymore but also don't have the money to not think about it. There are also quite a few that are sweet in this category but you ALWAYS find the aholes here.
Something kind of interesting, I've never met an idiot rich person. Have definitely met some that didn't know what they were talking about or were misinformed but they have all been easily teachable. They don't forget things easily unless diminished capacity is an issue. Definitely have some offspring and spouses that were idiots. But the people who actually accumulated it all, pretty bright people.
#9Being completely clueless about how people who have to manage their money have to live.
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#10Perfect skin and good teeth. Rich people can afford to go to doctors and medical professionals for their appearance. I had a friend who worked for a skin doctor. He let her train on her friends with some new products and apparently, it's a thing where you go in on a regular basis and your skin smooths out, all the weird spots go away and you just glisten like Arwen or Galadriel. I did get to go in for one practice treatment and the other folks waiting in the room had amazing skin. Ever since then, I could spot moneyed women just by their complexions. Also, a good number of them.. you can spot if you know fabrics really well and how they are supposed to drape when well made.
Image credits: VapoursAndSpleen
#11SORT: PRICE: High to Low.
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#12Going to space for like 2 minutes in a penis shaped rocket
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#13I was at a really posh restaurant (you know the kind where there are about 8 pieces of silverware?) we had saved up for months and a group of 8 of girls (nurses and CNA’s) went out. One of the recently divorced nurses was flirting with a guy at the next table. When we got our checks he leaned over and tossed his platinum card on the “I got this”. Like combined our tab was easily at least $1,000.
#14Keep a business afloat for two years during a pandemic with very little income coming in. I’m grateful for my boss and I hope his vintage Rolls Royce gets finished soon
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#15A friend once told me that her parents said if you had to take a loan for something you couldn't afford it. So they never had car loans or home loans....must be nice
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#16I once vaguely knew a family who were very rich. Even the kids had bodyguards (kidnap-ransom risk) When I stayed at their home for a weekend on a visit, the father casually mentioned not to push a certain button in the room, when I asked what it did out of interest he explained off-hand that it was a panic button to alert security and bodyguards in the grounds, like it was the most natural thing in the world. They were impeccably polite with me but I felt like Oliver Twist wandering into the wrong home.
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#17Buying art. And not Instagram art, but gallery dealer art.
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#18I worked at a gas station in the 90s when Steve Wozniak would come in to get gas. He dressed in shorts a tshirt and flip flops and drove a $120k car
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#19An expensive watch that isn’t a Rolex.
Rolexes are how rich people or not even rich but “had-a-good-year” show off wealth to poor people.
A truly wealthy person will have a Patek or AP Royal Oak or a Mueller, and not necessarily even a flashy one.
Image credits: LaurenRhymesWOrange
#20Not wearing a suit in a room full of people in suits.
#21Not checking the price before making a purchase.
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#22I don’t know if this is “small” but Steve Jobs never had a license plate on his car. He’d always lease for five months and 29 days, because in California you have to get a license plate within 6 months. His assistant would drop off his lease and pick up a new one. I used to live in the Bay Area and saw him leave Apple and head straight into the carpool lane at full speed. He never cared about getting ticketed.
#23Had to teach my fiancee how to use a broom, and how to wash dishes.
#24They don't watch tv or anything like that. Lamborghini said they don't make advertisements cause their customers aren't sitting around watching tv.
#25Buying specialty equipment for a new sport or hobby. Poor people rent or buy used stuff for their hobbies, and if they do buy supplies get the low end version rather than the fancy stuff.
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#26Not having a case on your phone.
#27Where I live if you don’t have someone living in your garage I’d say you’re pretty rich. (Silicon Valley)
#28Not knowing how much basic things cost. When you're living paycheck to paycheck you know exactly how much you're going to need to buy groceries or pay bills. Rich people have everything on autopay, because they always have money.
#29In high end stores or high ticket price item places they walk in and are clearly confident they are supposed to be there. I don't mean in the cliché holiday were are the peasants to wait on me kind of way just that they know they belong. Someone who is there to make their "first big purchase" or whatever often looks nervous. The people window shopping look awestruck
#30Not bragging about how rich you are
#31They have connections. These don't have to be crazy let me call the mayor type of things but if you say your looking for a job or something and they offer to put you in contact with people they probably are doing well
#32A rich kid at university once asked me with a straight face why I was working over the summer instead of going abroad to have a break.
#33My wife worked as a pastry chef at a very fancy NYC restaurant when we were in our 20s and just started dating. On her day off, we went to dinner there with a friend. The three of us were treated like kings: the head chef came out to see us and chat, we were served 6 desserts, etc. An older guy eating in the corner just randomly sent over an expensive bottle of wine to us. “Because we looked like we were having such a good time”. I was amazed. Having the kind of money where you can just do random acts of kindness. I’ll never forget that.
#34The sofa that is not in contact with a wall
#35If they pay with a black card, the rewards on those things are ridiculous and the criteria to get one is also ridiculous
#36Through my work as a lawyer, I have a number of wealthy clients. The most common trait between them is an easy-going demeanor along with a bit of a sense of entitlement, though not so much in a rude way. They are used to getting their way and are usually able to accomplish it through some combination of charm and money.
A likeable charmingness is another common trait. It may be that most of the wealthy people I know are business owners, and their good manners and conversation skills go a long way in their course of business. There could be a bit of a bias here just because I don’t really know any really wealthy people other than “small” business owners, but I have scarcely met a brash or rude person with real wealth so far as I know.
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#37Having no clue what a gallon of milk should cost. $1? $5? $10?
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#38Affording healthcare in America
#39Dressing like a hobo inside exclusive clubs and be served as the most important person there.
#40Buying new furniture, not from ikea or the like.
That stuff is expensive.
#41Minimalism by choice
#42Being unreasonably cheap with really weird and specific things.
#43A friend of mine from Catholic school where they wore uniforms said expensive belts and shoes were rich kid indicators. I guess it was a matter of degrees, it was an expensive school so everyone was doing ok, but if a kids rocking To Boot New York kicks, their parents are balling
#44One weird detail that I've noticed about the wealthiest people I've known is that they minimize their assets. They don't own their house, they've formed a trust fund that does. They don't own a car (or jet, or yacht), a private LLC does (that leases to the individual for $1 a year or something).
#45I had a friend at university about 25 years ago who I'd assumed was from a similar background to my other friends and mine — middle class. The only thing that gave him away eventually was when I saw a letter he had written to his parents. In addressing the envelope, he had only needed to put the name of his house and the county it was in. No other details required. Turned out, his parents basically owned most of that county, and he was a viscount.
#46If they refer to their vacation plans as 'summering' somewhere.
#47Pumping gas at the empty 76 station rather than the Arco across the street that's $0.35/gal cheaper.
#48I work in a library and suggested teaching basic car maintenance to teens and 20 somethings…how to check your oil, top off fluids, change a flat, etc. My coworker remarked why? Everyone’s parents buys them triple A… I was so shocked I just stared
#49Spending hours researching a product so you can be certain you’re buying the absolute highest quality that money can buy.
#50Properly tailored clothing.
#51Gartered dress socks. Completely invisible status symbol. Totally unnecessary. Gives the fat cat an edge in negotiations, knowing that their silk stockings are buttressed by a rarely donned anachronistic garment, and that their opponent is relying on a cheap elastic weave to keep their trashy blended socks affixed to their calves, strait and tight.
#52Here in the UK, if you wear a pair of mustard coloured corduroy trousers and a red jacket, or a similar combination
#53The size of the bathtub. Us normies can enjoy the luxury of a bath but in a tub that is just a little too short or too narrow, noone in their right mind would spend an extra few thousands to get a slightly bigger bath... Unless...
#54Lack of stress, eat out a lot, are never phased by surprises like “oh my tires punctured” “ovens broke” “I need a new boiler”. They can just get them
#55Having a couple of rental properties
#56I was walking around San Francisco with some friends from work late at night after drinking. One of them, who was the daughter of a member of the board of our very big company, was walking the same direction as me so I offered to walk with her a while. I live fairly far from SF and I had to catch an Uber home. She asked me why I was walking the several blocks with her and I said “to get out of the surge zone.”
It was very clear that she likely either doesn’t know what a surge zone is with Uber or that it absolutely has no impact on her choice in taking one.
#57If you've ever been on the campus of a prestigious college or university in the U.S., everyone is in shape and gorgeous.
Well, almost everyone.
#58When they have an accountant rather than a "guy who does my taxes".
#59This is not necessarily specific to being wealthy but often correlates and that is they expect to be listened to. Again this isn't the pretentious talking down to kind of thing so much as a confidence thing. Wealthy people typically have jobs with influence and other people working for them. They are used to having people expect direction from them, providing it and being listened to.
#602 sheets of 1/2” plywood just stored up in a shed
#61The family is well traveled. Travelling can be done cheaply on an individual basis but that takes a lot dedication and planning. If the whole family is well traveled they probably are just well off
#62Gear. Went on a hike/bike/kayak tour or the Sipan islands and my wife and I got to know this slightly older couple that was with us. As other posts will say they wore very non descriptive clothes. Upscale leisure athletic, I would call it, but what screamed "rich" to me were the little things. Dudes watch was super high end, their equipment was top notch and their custom bikes were easily 5K each. Turns out they are both lawyers making oodles of money and travel when they get good deals.
#63Having legit wealth tends to create an entourage. I had a relative who had not only money but a certain degree of power. He was able to give relatives jobs. Some for actual qualifications, some made up. He had legit goons who would take shots at you if you messed with their meal ticket.
I saw someone who did the math and just the basic necessities to set it up was over 30 grand. I think that wasn't including the actual camper. So not only would you need lots of money to even start it, but you'd need a pretty stable job to sustain it.
Note I'm talking about when they're constantly traveling the country in a large camper.
#65“Hey, do we have any milk in the fridge?”